This week the Director of the Eastern Cape Department of Education’s (ECDoE’s) Chris Hani West District Mr N. De Bruyn, who governs 398 schools within his district and is well known for his strong no-nonsense leadership style, said he was excited by what he heard and saw of the Queenstown Education Foundation (QEF) and 11 of its affiliate schools’ principals, all members of the historic Queenstown Principals Forum, and encouraged them to intensify their struggle for quality education and put their town firmly on the map!
The Forum includes both government and independent schools. At its informal event on Monday 18th November, the Forum’s Chairman Mr Lester Pike, offered Mr de Bruyn the Forum’s support as partners and allies in the quest for discipline and value-led education that he leads in the district. In turn the District Director encouraged all principals to go from strength to strength and move heaven and earth to involve more stakeholders, especially parents. He also challenged the Forum to look for ways to include Principals of under-resourced and dysfunctional schools, taking them under its wing.
Though no stranger to the all-round excellent achievements and facilities of the high functioning schools in his district, Mr De Bruyn heard from each principal about their ethos and efforts to become more inclusive. Many described programmes they have initiated to work with less privileged schools around them.
QEF’s stakeholder communication manager Jacqueline Wijtenburg briefed him on its overarching vision and current activities as it strives to create a universally-recognised centre of educational excellence in the country, driven by a nucleus of public and private schools, all intent on being agents for the development of our country’s future leadership.
In his closing remarks, Mr De Bruyn stressed that “Where you are struggling, stakeholders will move mountains. Schools belong to the community and where parents are involved, schools excel.”
He added that the district is not yet where it’s meant to be and especially noted how important it is for schools promote language efficiency.
“Let other schools learn from you. Intensify your struggle for quality education,” he concluded.